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Movie Guide

November 26, 2004

Alexander (PG-13)

Director: Oliver Stone. With Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie, Anthony Hopkins, Jared Leto. (172 min.)

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Sterritt * The story of Alexander the Great, who wept when he realized there were no more realms for him to conquer. Stone may do the same when he realizes what a dull movie he's directed. It's astounding that the ingenious creator of "JFK" and "Wall Street" could make an epic on war and empire that's so utterly simplistic and unreflective.

Bob, Verushka & the Pursuit of Happiness (Not rated)

Director: Roger Stigliano. With Michael Waite, Yelena Danova, Art Desuyo, Pavel Lynchnikoff. (80 min.)

Sterritt ** A small-time salesman finds himself on a crime spree with a Russian femme fatale. Tries to be a new "Something Wild"; ends up being tamer than tame.

Christmas With the Kranks (PG)

Director: Joe Roth. With Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd, Cheech Marin. (99 min.)

Sterritt * Facing their first Christmas without their daughter at home, a middle-aged couple decide not to celebrate the holiday, sending their neighborhood into shock. It's possible the comedy contains some secret allegory about the Protestant Reformation - the main character is named Luther, after all - but its main message is that everyone should believe and behave in exactly the same way. Groupthink wins again!

Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst (Not rated)

Director: Robert Stone. With Patricia Hearst, Russ Little, Michael Bortin, Timothy Findley. (89 min.)

Sterritt **** Riveting documentary about the 1970s kidnapping of the young California newspaper heiress by the so-called Symbionese Liberation Army, a group of radical activists she was then accused of joining, aiding, and abetting. A must-see account that casts a harshly illuminating light on a key period of recent American history.

Notre Musique (Not rated)

Director: Jean-Luc Godard. With Judith Lerner, Ramos Garcia, Olga Brodsky, Jean-Luc Godard. (79 min.)

Sterritt **** Godard's latest masterpiece takes a symbolic journey starting in hell, represented by modern war; moving to purgatory, set in Sarajevo, where a Jewish journalist hopes to confirm the possibilities of peace and reconciliation; and ending in paradise, a chunk of Swiss countryside with a varied population.

Visually sublime and intellectually dense, this is one of the extremely rare movies that prove cinema can be as complex and profound as the very greatest art works in any form. The title means "Our Music." In English, French, and Spanish, with subtitles

A Very Long Engagement (R)

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet. With Audrey Tautou, Tcheky Karyo, Jodie Foster. (133 min.)

Sterritt *** See review.

After the Sunset (R)

Director: Brett Ratner. With Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson, Don Cheadle. (97 min.)

Sterritt ** A cop chases a crook who covets a huge, exotic diamond. This indirect rehash of "To Catch a Thief" trades Hitchcockian shrewdness for the slickest kinds of Hollywood glitz, gloss, and vulgarity.

Sex/Nudity: 9 instances of innuendo. Violence: 7 Profanity: 27 expressions, mostly mild. Drugs: 15 instances of drinking, 3 of smoking.

Alfie (R)

Director: Charles Shyer. With Jude Law, Susan Sarandon, Omar Epps, Marisa Tomei. (103 min.)